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Miller: Europe's top enforcers

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By ESPN Staff

Crouch accuses foreigners of play-acting

LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Liverpool striker Peter Crouch has accused foreigners of play-acting following his sending off for a robust challenge on Chelsea's Jon Mikel Obi on Wednesday.

The England striker was shown an immediate red card by referee Martin Atkinson for a two-footed lunge against the Nigerian in Liverpool's 2-0 quarter-final defeat at Stamford Bridge, but claimed Mikel over-reacted.

He told the Liverpool Echo newspaper: 'Foreign players have brought a lot to our game but that's something you don't want to see.

'What I'm thinking is if you go in on Frank Lampard or John Terry, would they roll around like Mikel did? I don't think they would have done.

'Would someone like Carra (Liverpool team mate Jamie Carragher) have gone down like that? I think it's safe to say he wouldn't. I didn't catch Mikel but he has gone down like he's been shot.'

Crouch was the third player to be sent off for a two-footed lunge in the League Cup this week following Tottenham's Didier Zokora and Arsenal's Denilson - but there have been a number of lunges only yellow carded by referees.

However, his immediate red card means he will now serve a three-match ban over the holiday period starting with Liverpool's home match against Portsmouth on Saturday.

Crouch told the newspaper: 'Mikel came in with his studs up and that was in the back of my mind. Then I thought there was another foul in there and obviously I've lost my head.

'There are no excuses for the tackle I made but if the referee had pulled the foul up when he should have done it wouldn't have happened.

'You give and take with referees and sometimes the decisions go for you and sometimes they don't, so you can't always blame them.'